Friday, 23 September 2011

Bill's most excellent adventure..........NOT

The day started off quite normal, up at 0445 and off to work an hour later. I felt fine during the ride into work and, as usual, took part in the early “going to work net” on the VE3FRG repeater.

However……about 20 minutes into my shift I started to get chest pains, not good I thought. Anyway, like an idiot, I stuck it out for a while….that is until my boss took one look at me and called 911. Within a few minutes two Military Policemen and an ambulance showed up, and I was off on a great adventure to Kingston General Hospital (KGH)!!

I cannot say enough about the level of care, and the way I was treated, by the staff at KGH, first class all the way……even after they realized I wasn’t having the big one. It turned out that one of my medications had stopped working. They found out that my body had built up immunity to it and it no longer works for me. The result of it not working was a very uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest, exactly like a heart attack.

After being wired for sound into a large monitor, two lots of blood work, X-rays, and the vilest tasting concoction I have ever had the displeasure to swallow….seven hours had past.

So, here’s a question for all you SOTA and portable QRP guys……considering some of the very remote spots you guys end up operating at, could you recognize the signs of a heart attack, and more to the point, would you know how to handle the situation? Most of the places we go are a long way from a hospital with a long response time, and time is precious in these situations.

The American Heart Association and other medical experts say the body likely will send one or more of these warning signals of a heart attack:

• Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.

• Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. The pain may be mild to intense. It may feel like pressure, tightness, burning, or heavy weight. It may be located in the chest, upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or inside the arms or shoulders.

• Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.

• Anxiety, nervousness and/or cold, sweaty skin.

• Paleness or pallor.

• Increased or irregular heart rate.

• Feeling of impending doom.

Not all of these signs occur in every attack. Sometimes they go away and return. If some occur, get help fast. If you notice one or more of these signs in yourself or others, don't wait……Call emergency medical services (9-1-1) right away!

We should all know these signs, it may save a life....even yours!


  1. Yikes! I'm glad you're okay!

  2. Speedy recovery Bill and glad you're OK.

    Bob VE3MPG

  3. Some guys will do anything to take a Friday off work...

    Glad your OK though...


  4. Good evening Bill, not good to hear that you had to go to the ER. But good to hear it was not a heart attack and a matter of some meds that have to be sorted out. I have heard of folks that have similar happenings as you. It was some med trouble that brought on the symptoms but then anxiety takes over the heart rate and blood pressure begin to rise the unknown blocked artery comes into play and a heart attack happens as a side effect to a minor symptom. Bottom line it is always good to have the annual check up not saying you don't but many wait. As for knowing the signs of a heart attack or stroke I am very fortunate with the work I am in we have very intense and high level emergency medical training. Anyway great to hear you will get this sorted out and I hope soon back on your feet dancing with the radio again.

  5. Thanks for your kind words guys. All is OK, and I'm just awaiting new medication to fix things up properly.

    Bill VE3CLQ

  6. What a scare!!

    Glad you're OK, Bill.

    Thanks for sharing the education with us.

    - Martin.

  7. Gosh Bill. I saw you today just before Field Day, and you were looking great (almost 5 years later, of course!). I'm very glad you DID make it, and are enjoying life today. Looking forward to some activities with you and the club soon.

    John, VA3JO

    1. Good seeing you too John. I'll certainly keep you in the activity information loop.